Wednesday, January 29, 2014

This Really Happened

I've talked a little about Evan's personality, but for this post to be mildly interesting to you, here's a little info about our little guy named Evan. 
He' He's by no means an easy child. I have one of those. I know the difference. He was notorious for being a difficult child to get to sleep. As his personality has developed, I now know why. He's curious. He doesn't want to stop. He's a go getter. We don't call him the CEO for nothing...
Anyway, he's never one of those kids to just fall asleep. He needs his blankie, his paci and he needs to be rocked. He won't sleep unless it's in his crib. There's a way to do it. If you don't do it right, he'll let you know. Once he is asleep, he sleeps amazing (for naps anyway). He's typically a 3 hour napper. 
That being said, this happened today.

We had afternoon milk and watched Tec on TV. (yes, I was one of those people who said 'my kids will never watch tv. Well, sometimes we need it. Sometimes MOM needs it. That's for another post...) He wasn't signing for more after the show ended. Highly unusual. I looked at him and he was asleep. What?! He hasn't fallen asleep on me since he was a tiny baby....

I stood up, fetched a diaper and laid him on the floor. He was still sleeping.
I proceeded to change his diaper. He kicked a little while I wiped him with a cold wipe, but he was still sleeping...
Ella decided he needed his blankie if he was going to be sleeping.
Ella dropped his blankie on his face. What a kind sister.

I carried him up to his room and placed him in his crib. He never woke up.

Can you believe it?! Most kids probably do this kind of thing all the time and it's not a big deal. It's a huge deal to me! Mind blowing. My kid doesn't do this.... The CEO is getting soft.
I had to make sure to document this occurrence because it's only a tad shy of a miracle for this mama.
Sweet dreams my sweet boy!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A List

*I have two PRN jobs currently. I don't have the time to keep up with trainings at two hospitals, so I'm trying (yes trying) to quit one. I've contacted the head of the department, but have yet to hear back. I didn't know quitting a job could be so difficult? 

*We go to an open gym weekly. I say weekly like we've been doing this for months. We've been going for a month, but I think we'll continue to go weekly while the weather is cold. It's only $8 for both babies/kids. They get to be around other kids. They learn new skills. It's a beautiful thing. Evan has done a few interesting things while at open gym: Exhibit A-he stared at himself in the mirror and then made out with himself. I had to scrape himself and his tongue off of the mirror. Exhibit B-there is one (ONE) freaking outlet that does not have a safety plug in it in a HUGE space. He has found it and constantly tries to shove his finger in it. (I'm going to bring a plug form home and shove it in there next time). Exhibit C-he is the only kid who constantly runs out the door of the gym into the common space. I have to be the mom, hanging her head in shame, chasing him out or close the door. Other moms chase their kids out once or twice. Evan does it insistently.  Exhibit D-last week was very busy and some of the moms/dad's left their shoes in the gym lined up against a wall instead of in the common space. He was the only kid (out of about 40) who was constantly putting on the adult's shoes. He kind of made a mess of the shoes...I just ushered him away and pretended like it didn't happen. Exhibit E-he tried to kiss a girl today. She was a petite little blonde with blue eyes (good taste son). He went in for the kiss and was met with a hand in his face. The kid is persistent. I'll give him that. He went in another time and was met with the hand of denial again. Being Evan, he tried again, this time using his hands to grab her face as a mode of convincing her. He knocked the poor girl down and then she tried kicking him away. I could go on and on....he's the only kid trying to play with the sound system, running up the stairs in the common area (I noticed that door was closed this week...maybe because of him?) etc. Needless to say, keeping an eye on him and his sister is a work out for me.

*Ella needs her own open gym comment as well. She's the more timid of the two and more independent. One of the weeks we went, she continuously hugged a little girl that was about 8 months old. The little girl liked it and was smiling at her and welcoming the hugs, but the dad kept giving me odd looks as if to say 'get your kid off of mine.' I thought it was adorable, but after a few dozen hugs, I had to scrape Ella off of the girl and get away from the dad before he served us with a restraining order.

*If you are a twin parent, do you find your twins are more affectionate toward other kids compared to singleton kids? I don't see other kids hugging and trying to kiss strange kids at open gym, but ours do this several times. I wonder if they are used to having a kid their age to be affectionate towards and this makes them more open to sharing affection to other kids? Maybe it's just what kids do and I'm over thinking it. I don't know what the hell I'm doing in this parenting thing...I make it up as I go.

*I am so confused what to call the twins....are they babies? Toddlers? What do you call a 16 month old?! They will always be my babies, but I feel ridiculous saying this to other people. Do I have to start calling them toddlers? Will I give them some kind of complex if I continue to call them babies?

*Speaking of complexes, we (as in my husband and I) often make comments to each other about the kids. Evan frequently is referred to as 'wild' 'nuts' 'crazy' etc. He's just a rambunctious kid. He's a boy's boy. I'm also paranoid about giving him some kind of complex that he is indeed a wild child. We need to stop saying these things. They understand so much information these days! Maybe it would be wise to start saving for therapy...

*I'm not sure what to label myself. I stay at home with the babies (again BABIES?!), but I also work occasionally (less than 15 hours a week and typically in 4.5 hours chunks). I feel like a fraud when I say I'm a stay at home mom. Don't stay at home moms STAY AT HOME and NOT work? What am I? Kudos to the true blue stay at home moms out there. I need to work. It's not much, but it keeps me sane to get out and use critical thinking skills. Whatever the hell I am, it works for me/us.

*These clowns have yet to give us some good solid sleep for an extended period of time. There's always a tooth or growth spurt or maybe I'm just making excuses to make myself feel better about failing in the sleep department. I don't know what it is, but I'm going to kick the next lady I hear say 'my 5 month old sleeps 12 hours all the time!' in her left ovary. We get several nights in a row of sleeping  form 7:30 until 5ish-then needing a bottle and going right down until 7-8. I consider that a good night of sleep. If you don't just keep your comments to yourself all you people with sleeping babies! Then we hit a kick of several nights in a row where they wake up at 12 or 1 and then 4 or 5. The 12/1 wake up needs some comforting to go back to sleep, but the next wake up is a feeding. We've tried letting them cry, but then one wakes the other and then you have 2 babies up. I don't know what to sucks. I need some sleep damn it! I'm a lot more pleasant when I get proper sleep. Ask my husband. So I don't know if our twins suck at sleeping or if we completely failed and missed the mark on helping them learn how to sleep. 16 months, damn it, and we are NOT sleeping through most nights. FAIL.

*My day is often determined by shit. Yup, shit as in poop. Our babies work like clock work. They eat breakfast. Get out of their chairs and poop while I'm cleaning up breakfast. It's a beautiful thing. We get dressed and take on the day from this point. If they haven't pooped after breakfast. WATCH OUT! There is often crankiness and whining to follow. I'm often afraid to leave the house if they haven't pooped, because there is no telling what is going to happen. I know things are heading in the right direction if we have a morning poop. 

*I don't want to end this talking about poop, but honestly, that is all I have running through my head right now. Our computer is in the basement and it's freezing. We ordered a laptop this week, so maybe next time I can write without getting frost bite. I've had enough of winter!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

16 Months

 Well hello there!! Evan and Ella turned 16 months old yesterday. I'm still figuring out this motherhood thing every day. That's my goal always-to learn something every day to make the next day a little easier.

We have amazing days filled with activities, laughter and sweet moments I don't want to let go of. We also have tough days filled with whining, refusing to eat and throwing fits.

I knew from the start that Evan was going to be a unique individual. He let us know this at about 4 days old and he certainly hasn't changed. At open gym with about 30-40 other kids, he is the one running out the door, trying to put his finger in the ONE electrical outlet not covered and picking up the adults shoes and putting them on his feet. He is a challenge most days. He is also inquisitive, full of energy and fun. His antics keep me on my toes and make me laugh.

Ella is the sweetest little girl. She loves books, animals and giving hugs. Thanks to her brother, she is going to be one tough little girl. She is giving; she often picks up Evan's blanket or paci and runs to give it to him. She is funny in a quieter way than her brother. She is laid back and easy going. She is all girl. Her snuggles and smiles keep me grounded.

I adore the two of them together. Things have gotten so much easier! I knew I'd never keep up with two baby  books, so I bought a notebook to write in. I write all the pertinent info down. I used to do it daily, but I write monthly now. I'm glad I have written things down, because the first year is a complete blur in places... That's what sleep deprivation will do to you I guess. It's been quite the journey. I have many things to work on in order to make myself the mom I want to be, but in the mean time I have two healthy kids and I'm doing the best I can.

One thing I decided to work on today is to stop feeling jealousy of moms of singletons. My friends with singletons seem to have it so easy. That's what I have convinced myself at least, when I'm having one of those days filled with two cranky babies.
I met a friend at a local open gym today and looked at my two running around, laughing, playing and clapping with one another and thought 'twins are amazing.' The singleton mom commented on the two of them playing together and I felt my heart swell. Yup,  this is why twins are special. I may have to enforce a schedule, have two kids fighting for my attention, a messy house and complete lack of sleep, but I have TWO babies. TWO. They are developing a fierce love for one another. They are starting to jabber to each other. It's amazing to watch. So I'm letting go of the idea that singleton moms have it so easy and wonder what that would be like. I don't have a singleton. I have two. Other moms probably wonder what it would be like to have two. This is my life. It's amazing. I'm learning to embrace the craziness and falling in love with it more every day.

I read this on Fac.ebook yesterday and I loved it. Loved it so much I had to share with you! It is by no means my list. You can click on this link to read it: 
Reading this list yesterday helped to inspire me to get over this 'life is so hard' thing I get stuck in my head sometimes as well. I have days where everything seems to go wrong and I go to a bad place thinking everything is a mess and life is so damn difficult. It can be tough, but it's also fascinating.
It's easy to forget all the pain we went through to get here.

One day at a time. We're thriving most days, don't get me wrong. I laugh a lot throughout the day. We're getting out and having fun as a family. I need to remember how special the gift of twins is on 'one of those days'.

*22 Unexpected Gifts of Twins*
1. The instant anyone finds out you are pregnant with twins (family, friends, strangers), the red carpet rolls out -- seats, support, snacks; ask and you shall receive.

2. Two "birds," one "stone" = instant family (for the pregnancy-averse, you only buy and wear maternity clothes once!).

3. Two babies came out of YOUR body. Out of YOU. Think about that. If you've had a singleton (what we twin moms call your regularly spaced children), it's amazing. But when I think about the fact that I had TWO at ONCE, "wow" is the only word that describes this physical feat.

4. Holding a baby is delicious -- but holding your two infants at the same time is nothing short of a miracle. 

5. Remember the "double your pleasure, double your fun" ad slogan? When it comes to twin babies, somehow one makes the other cuter and sweeter and vice versa.
6. From birth to the present, it's been fun seeing the physical differences -- and similarities -- between my twins. From fingers to toes, the who-got-what game never gets boring.

7. Twin Love: my two have superhero-strength love for each other. It's stronger than words can describe. And nothing like regular sibling love.

8. My twins are almost past the one-decade mark and I still fiercely treasure alone time with each. 

9. Boy-girl twins are competitive but not as competitive as same-sex twins. Phew!

10. The unspoken rule of "I've got you" between the two applies to everything -- birthday parties, Sunday school, doctor's visits.

11. Although the first year of twins sometimes felt (and looked) like a scene from Sharknado, I'm a more relaxed, balanced and grounded person because I survived it.

12. Now in middle school, my twins are in different classes. Because every teacher is different, each benefits from the other's classroom experience all the time.

13. If one twin misses school, I don't have to call the teacher or a peer -- the twin who didn't miss school has it all in his or her backpack already. Score!

14. Spying! I am not proud of this one but I can corner either Twin A or Twin B and get the scoop on almost any situation, complete with a feelings analysis about their sibling.

15. Having two children the same age means they can share age-appropriate books, movies, games and toys. I don't have to buy two of Wimpy Kid or Harry Potter. (The flip side: we will be paying for college for two at the same time! Gulp!).

16. My twins frequently offer unsolicited praise and support to one another. It's genuine, and comes from a deep-in-their-bones place that I believe has to do with their shared in-my-belly-time. 

17. Anticipationnnnn... twins really have a sixth sense about one another and they just KNOW WHAT IS COMING.

18. One birthday party! I'd be lying if I didn't admit to doing some separate birthday celebrations for friends, but we always have one family party (and have had many joint birthday parties). Less work, more fun for Mom.

19. Same gift, different package. It's a unique phenomenon to see the same strength or talent manifest itself differently in my boy and girl. Both are very musical but in different ways. The way nature wired them similarly and differently makes me smile.

20. Boys will be boys and the same saying applies to girls. But the quirks my two share are genderless. Small mannerisms or gestures are IDENTICAL. Kind of spooky how all that wiring and neurology works.

21. I never realized that having two children in the same exact grade means we are always on the receiving end of every illness, germ or rash. If one doesn't get it, the other does. This I can count on. I admit this one isn't exactly a "gift"...

22. Last but not least, twins really are best friends and platonic soulmates long before they are sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, teammates and best friends. It's a miracle to give birth to twins, to parent twins and most of all, to witness the marvel of twins.